The Buzzard's Flight

Episode 3: Silence on Lamaredd

The Buzzard was given coordinates to Lamaredd, a world not on Imperial star charts. Landing, they find a secretive corporate mining operation, left alone by Imperial forces. Essentially, a haven for smugglers needing a little downtime.

With the parts for their new engine assembly aboard, LE-0N remains behind to work on them, while Raakla and Kain seek work in the spaceport. Speaking with a fast-talking Rodian, they agree to transport a package to one of the out-of-the-way mining platforms via speeder. As the evening starts, the pair take off on one of the ship’s speeder bikes.

As LE-0N works on the ship, he hears scrabbling over the ship’s hull, as though it’s being climbed upon. Checking the sensors, he confirms energy sources and receives an automated message from the starport – Lamaredd’s sister planets will orbit close overnight, making communications impossible. As the droid reads the message, a heavily armored Trandoshan comes into view, indicating LE-0N should come out. LE-0N attempts deception, fails, and finally tells the obvious bounty hunter ‘no’. The bounty hunter triggers his pet droids to swarm the Buzzard, carving at weak spots on the ship to get into it and at LE-0N.

Far away, Raakla and Kain cross one of Lamaredd’s many seas at high speed, crossing into a forest near the platform. A few seeming attacks strike the bike, distracting them, but Kain presses forward – into a net that has been set up to pull them off of the bike.

LE-0N, knowing he’s a sitting duck, sets a timer on the ship’s computer to open and close the ship’s starboard cargo door. Climbing onto the second speeder bike, he waits until the door swings open and blasts out, shooting the docking bay door open and flying through. The hunter fires, clipping LE-0N’s arm and causing him to lose control. The droid regains it long enough to shoot out of a cargo loading door and land on the beach outside, the speeder bike engines dying in the process, and the hunter close behind.

Raakla and Kain get free of the net and discover their ‘captors’, lemuroid aliens called the Menahuun. They routinely capture non-Menahuun due to persecution from the human populace, and this was no exception… until their leader got near Kain. Suddenly, quiet chants of ’Pa’ela’ surround them, and Kain learns something very important… he might be able to access the Force.

LE-0N, pinned down on the beach, hears the spaceport klaxons activate, but he won’t be able to hold on with no cover until security comes. When a lucky shot from the hunter’s carbine hits the droid in the face, nearly destroying it, LE-0N takes a chance and climbs back on the bike, hoping against hope to turn the bike on. He gets lucky and it powers on. Pivoting the blaster cannon on it, he fires on the hunter, chasing him off. Rather than follow into an almost certain trap, LE-0N waits for security, feigning that his master’s ship was attacked, and security is content to leave that explanation as is.

Raakla and Kain are travelling with the Menahuun, Kain eager to understand more of what this means to him, when the bike detects a ship nearby. The Menahuun move immediately to find it and determine its purpose, and Kain decides that he and Raakla will go ahead. The ship turns out to be a charnel house with a hyperdrive – half-eaten bodies, skeletal security droids, and a smell so unspeakably horrible that both smugglers are forced to wear breath masks. Raakla finds a ‘trophy room’ with weapons, skins, and explosives, including a pair of thermal detonators. After checking out the cockpit, the ship’s alert is triggered, forcing them to close the doors away from a legion of taloned droids. While Raakla hacks at the viewport to make an exit, Kain locates an emergency hatch and works feverishly to open it. A few droids almost make it in, but Raakla fends them off. Finally, the hatch is dogged open and the pair escape… just in time to see the owner, a heavily armored Trandoshan. arrive in a hovertruck and offload more of the horrible combat droids. Adrenaline gripped both of them, leading to simultaneous insane plans. Kain gets ready to fire on the cockpit with the bike, and Raakla sneaks aboard, securing the thermal detonator and uses it to thoroughly lethal effect, wrecking most of the Trandoshan’s ship and crippling him.

Left with no real idea why they reacted so violently to the pilot’s return, the pair leave, claiming what was left of the ship as salvage. They give it to the starport for the berth time to effect some repairs from previous battles, and learn from the stricken ship’s computer that the hunter was named Klassht, and was the hunter most equipped to seek out LE-0N and bring him to justice.

Sobered by their experiences, the crew finishes repairs and modifications and leaves Lamaredd in silence.

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